southcoast almanac south coast ma

Your Go To Guide for all things local!

Westport-Harbor

Home

We’re bringing a fresh perspective to Massachusetts’ South Coast. Our annual guide is your go to guide for our coast, from Little Compton to Buzzards Bay. We delve into the fascinating people, homes, food & restaurants, history, art, sailing & recreation and the hidden places of the South Coast.

We’re hard at work on our Fall/Holiday 2018 issue now. Drop us a line at [email protected] and let us know what you liked in our current issue or what you’d like to see more of. Sign up for regular email updates and be in the know for monthly specials and offers, like special meet-ups and discounts on local events.

Enjoy!

RECREATION

SMALL BLK TRAINER KAYAK

PLACES

SMALL 2 Fall River Historical Society copy

FOOD

SMALL HAMBURGER 2

 PEOPLE

JILL2 copy

 

 

8 Great Things: June on the South Coast

Is there anything better than June? We think not. Feel free to do nothing at all and just soak in this wonderful month. Or take a look at these 8 things to make June even better!

1. Gone Fishin’

At 6:00 am, a horn will sound on Tihonet Pond, signaling for competitors to begin furiously fishing. Although the early schedule may seem made for serious fishermen, the Tihonet Pond Fishing Derby is open to all levels of fishermen, from the serious pros to those just wanting to join the fun. The Wankinquoah Rod & Gun Club puts on the event with free pancake breakfast (making the early wake-up worth it), bait and lunch available for purchase, and some prizes for adults and juniors. Competitors can fish from shore or bring their boat or kayak (or rent a kayak for the day on site!).

June 3. The registration fee is $12 for adults and $3 for children 14 and under. Registration begins at 4 am, official start at 6 am and official end at 2 pm. For more information and to pre-register, see here.  150 Tihonet Road, Wareham.

2. Open Studios

With three floors of art (paintings, mixed media, ceramics, sculpture, woodworking, and more), the talented artists of Hatch Studios will open their workshops to the public as part of their “Second Saturday” series. Don’t miss out on the chance to explore the studios and meet the artists. The event is free of charge and features a raffle for several pieces of art (pictured) donated by the artists! The raffle is open to all; just visit the participating artist’s studio to fill out a ticket and get a chance to take home a wonderful piece of art. June 9, 12-5 pm.  88 Hatch Street, New Bedford. See more here. 

3. Trés Jazzy

Ready to get dancing? On June 9th, the annual New Bedford JazzFest is moving onto the pier! The evening features art, food, and drink with two stages of non-stop live jazz. JazzFest founder Eric Paradis promises “This is jazz that will make you move!” Head down to New Bedford’s historic waterfront under the tent on Pier 3 for this vibrant event to be held rain-or-shine and featuring a diverse line-up of jazz musicians, as well as local food trucks, a full bar, and the “artist’s colony,”a section highlighting the work of local artists. Tickets are $25 at the door and can be reserved here. June 9. 2-7 pm.  Pier 3, Downtown New Bedford. Children 15 and under are free when accompanied by an adult.F

4. Farmer Coffee in the Dell

There’s nothing better than spending spring outside. Adding coffee and donuts to the mix just sweetens the deal. Friends of Buttonwood Park is sponsoring Coffee in the Dell, featuring free coffee and donuts (while supplies last) and guided tours of Buttonwood Park’s arboretum. Buttonwood is the largest and most visited public park in New Bedford, planned by Frederick Law Olmstead in 1895. If you haven’t yet visited, June is the perfect time to go. If you have visited already, now is the perfect time to go back! Enjoy a beautiful spring day outside, meeting other like minded South Coasters, reading the paper, and enjoying some coffee. June 10th, 10 am -12 pm (rain date: June 24). Coffee will take place across the road from the warming house, west of the Greenhouse. Oneida Street, New Bedford.

5. Season Opener

Pull out your mini-vans and SUVs and start piling in because the Westport Vineyards Sunset Music Series is $10 per CAR! The event features great music, and local beer and wine can be purchased by the glass. For the season opener, Rebecca Correia (featured in this summer’s print issue!) will be performing a mix of her own originals and covers. Bring your picnic and non-alcoholic drinks or purchase food from a selection of local chefs! Price per car goes up the week of the event, so organize your friends and buy your pass now right here! June 15, 6 pm.  417 Hixbridge Road, Westport.

6. Put Yourself Out to Pasture

A beautiful walk at dusk? Yes, please. Join Weatherlow Farms Land and Livestock Manager Brent on an evening walk through the gorgeous fields of the farm (we were just there for our launch party last month, so we can promise that the landscape is gorgeous! Check out pictures from our party here). The walk promises much more than pretty views, as participants will learn about Weatherlow’s approach to raising livestock and building healthy soils that contribute to sustainable agricultural practices! The event is free, but it is requested that you reserve a ticket as to manage numbers. June 28, 5:30 -7 pm. 845 Sodom Road, Westport. Register here.

7. Homecoming!

Nearly two hundred vendor booths, live entertainment, an outdoor art exhibition, and free fire engine rides for kids all play a part in Fairhaven’s largest annual event, Homecoming Days! Fairhaven’s picturesque town center, filled with European-style architecture, adds to the charm of the day. The Unitarian Memorial Church (showcasing English Perpendicular Gothic style architecture) will be open for tours all day. There is no entrance fee to the fair, and a free shuttle will operate between the Northeast Maritime Institute and Fairhaven High School. June 30, 10 am to 4 pm. Center Street, from William to Green Streets. See here for more information.

8. Get Out There & Swim!

Swimming 1.2 miles through the New Bedford Harbor? No problem! With the assistance of the U.S. Coast Guard and local safety patrol, swimmers will pass through the channel by the Butler Flats Lighthouse and New Bedford Hurricane Barrier before reaching the finish at the Fort Phoenix State Reservation. The beach party finish includes a live steel drum band, cooked to order pancakes, coffee, free massages, and local beer! With a $25 registration fee and $150 fundraising minimum (with a special rate for youth teams), the fundraiser supports the Buzzards Bay Coalition, whose events are often featured in our monthly blog post and whose work is essential in conservation of the Bay.

If the Coalition signs up 60 more swimmers, they’ll earn a $50,000 challenge grant to benefit clean water. If the Buzzards Bay Swim has been on your bucket list, make this the year to do it! June 30, 6:30 to 10:30 a.m. Register here. 

For occasional free email updates from us on things that make the South Coast the best place to be any month of the year, go right here.

 

Read More

The Best Homefries We’ve Ever Had

From time to time, we take our advertisers out to breakfast to review a local breakfast place for our readers. Because, really, who doesn’t love breakfast? Most recently, we had breakfast with Cindy Parola of LaForce Realty…..

Cindy Parola is a local’s local and she really knows her stuff, whether that is real estate or home fries. I knew she’d be a good person to ask about breakfast spots. When I asked her to pick a place to review, she chose the Riverside Cafe on Wareham’s Main Street.

I got there a few minutes early and took a look at the menu. I had settled on the Green Pig (spinach, sausage and mozzarella cheese omelet) before Cindy arrived and the waitress came over to give us the specials. There were a half dozen specials but one stood out and made me forget the Green Pig: morning glory pancakes. Like a morning glory muffin, but in a pancake form. With coconut too. I know people have strong opinions about coconut. Me, I love it. Put it in any dish and I want that dish. (“Coconut infused fried kidney livers?” Sure! Sign me up!)

So I put away the menu and ordered the morning glory pancakes. Cindy chose the Main Street Special. She told me she picked Riverside because the hash is amazing. Then she realized she hadn’t even ordered the hash. “Yeah,” she said, “the problem is that it’s all good.” She also likes that everything in Riverside is mismatched, like our coffee cups were. She took a second glance at one of them, “I think this is my Black Dog mug.”

homefriesWhen her order arrived, she told me Riverside makes the best home fries she’s ever had and she let me try them. She’s right. They are stupendous. Crispy like no others I’ve ever had. They are seriously worth a trip, even if you hail from the other end of the South Coast. Even if you’re coming from Boston.

While we happily ate our breakfast, we talked about Cindy’s work and life here.

Her family story reads like the American dream. Her grandfather came to the United States from Greece. He started working as a shoeshiner, then got a pushcart in downtown New Bedford selling produce before purchasing a wholesale route and opening a storefront on Wareham’s Main Street (where Mumma Marys is now). Then he started buying bogs at Mary’s Pond in Rochester and started farming cranberries. Real estate was important to him and Cindy absorbed his lessons (“always buy corner properties” and “you can always make more money but you can’t make more land.”)

Cindy inherited his worth ethic. “I don’t do anything half-assed,” she says frankly. “I was taught that an A- wasn’t good enough. The bar was set high. I was also told I had to participate.” At Old Rochester Regional High School, she participated in theater, track, volleyball, band and chorus. She took the late bus home every day which set her up for the grueling schedule she’s maintained throughout her life. In many ways, she has carried on her grandfather’s legacy of land and cranberries — she’s been president of Decas Cranberries for 20 years and she’s also a real estate broker affiliate at LaForce Realty. But she’s done so many other things: she owned a liquor store in Wareham when she was just 17 [before she was legally of drinking age!]; she finished college in 3 years; she served on the Wareham School Committee and Board of Selectman; she’s hosted two dozen Cape Cod League baseball players.

She’s got a sharp wit and is full of surprises. She seems tenacious and tough but I thought I detected something else under all toughness. I’ve noticed that she’s the first to support the members in our 6 Degrees Networking group. I told her I thought I had cracked her secret. That underneath it all, she is kind. She laughed. “I’m not kind,” she said, definitively. “No,” she repeated for emphasis. “I’m not.”

I was a little surprised because who doesn’t want to be seen as kind? I tried a different approach. “Well, you’re loyal then.”

“Nope,” she countered. “I’m not loyal.”

“But you’re such a great supporter of all the small businesses in our group,” I argue back. “I go to sign up for a yoga class and you’ve written the testimonial on the website.”

She was having none of it. “I’m fiercely protective of my reputation,” she said. “I want to try people out before recommending them. I’m not going to recommend people who I don’t use myself.” Fair enough. She knows a lot of people and a lot of people know her. “If you own a liquor store when you’re 17, trust me you know everyone,” she says. It makes sense that she is fierce about her reputation. (Still, I think there’s at least a little kindness mixed in there too.)

So here are the takeaways from breakfast with Cindy Parola.

  • The Riverside Cafe is amazing. We both give it an A.
  • The home fries are the best we’ve ever ate.
  • Morning Glory Pancakes with warm syrup should be a regular part of anyone’s life.
  • Cindy is supposedly neither kind, nor loyal.
  • She is a connector.
  • I should go back to Riverside for the hash.

Check out the homefries yourself at Riverside Cafe, 189 Main Street, Wareham, 508-295-2050. Open daily for breakfast and lunch, 6 am to 1 pm.

To find out more about Cindy’s real estate practice (commercial, residential, you name it — she knows it all), go here.

And, finally, to keep up with breakfast place reviews and lots more going on in the area, sign up here.

Read More

8 Great Things: May on the South Coast

“All things seem possible in May.” Edwin Way Teale

It’s true. All things do seem possible in May. Know what’s nearly impossible? Narrowing the choices down to just 8 great things to do! But we did it. Once again, we present you with 8 great things to do on the South Coast this wonderful month!

Things to do1. Story Walk

Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust is taking a page out of Anne Ferguson’s StoryWalk Project. What could be better on a warm May day than wandering down a nature trail as you happen upon the pages of a beloved book! You can read Over in The Meadow by Paul Caldone, a nursery poem about animals, along the trail of Ridge Hill Reserve or Sheep Take A Hike by Nancy Shaw, a book about sheep wandering through the woods and finding their way home, in Paskamansett Woods. The laminated book pages will be placed along the trail on May 1st and can be enjoyed throughout the month. Starting May 1. See here for more information.

Read More